Live Online Book Forum

Marriage Equality: From Outlaws to In‐​Laws

(Yale, 2020)

October 6, 2020 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EDT

Live Online

Featuring William Eskridge (@EskridgeBill), Coauthor and John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence, Yale Law School; Steven Calabresi, Clayton J. and Henry R. Barber Professor of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law; Maggie Gallagher (@maggiegallaghe), Former Chairman, National Organization for Marriage; moderated by Ilya Shapiro (@ishapiro), Director, Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute.

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As William Eskridge and coauthor, Christopher Riano, argue in their new book, Marriage Equality: From Outlaws to In‐​Laws, the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges requiring states to recognize same‐​sex marriages came faster and with broader public support than anyone would have thought possible in 2001. Indeed, many federal judges appointed by Republican presidents voted to invalidate the Defense of Marriage Act or state laws barring same‐​sex marriages between 2009 and 2015, while former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, among other conservative leaders, also endorsed gay marriage. This new book tells the inside story of the judicial deliberations in marriage equality cases but also defends these decisions from the perspective of the original public meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, constitutional precedents, the institution of marriage itself, and even sincere and learned analyses of scripture. The authors conclude with three chapters about the contours of ongoing debates about religious liberty, the relationship options that states ought to recognize, and abortion. Joining Eskridge to discuss his book will be leading Fourteenth Amendment scholar Steven Calabresi and former chairman of the National Organization for Marriage Maggie Gallagher.

Additional Resources

Marriage Equality: From Outlaws to In‐​Laws

As a legal scholar who first argued in the early 1990s for a right to gay marriage, William N. Eskridge Jr. has been on the front lines of the debate over same‑sex marriage for decades. In this book, Eskridge and his coauthor, Christopher R. Riano, offer a panoramic and definitive history of America’s marriage equality debate. The authors explore the deeply religious, rabidly political, frequently administrative, and pervasively constitutional features of the debate and consider all angles of its dramatic history.